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Chinese Walmart rebuked for passing off fox meat as donkey meat

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They say you can get anything at a Walmart. I would say that aphorism is true, after NBC News on Jan. 2 reported that a Shanghai Walmart is not only selling donkey meat, but also passing off one particular "donkey" brand as the real thing, when DNA tests have confirmed the meat is from foxes.

Walmart has yanked the “Five Spice” meat packages and has offered refunds. NBC says the big box store is also tracking the Chinese supplier in order to investigate the matter after the Shandong Food and Drug Administration established the presence of fox meat.

“This is another hit on Wal-Mart's brand, meaning wealthy shoppers will start to lose the trust they had before,” said Shaun Rein, Shanghai-based managing director of China Market Research Group. Rein added that Walmart is desperately trying to get a hold on China’s grocery market – the largest in the world – and has plans to open over 100 new stores this year.

According to NBC, China slaughtered 2.4 million donkeys in 2011, and the meat remains a popular snack.

“We are deeply sorry for this whole affair,” said Wal-Mart's China president and CEO Greg Foran. “It is a deep lesson (for us) that we need to continue to increase investment in supplier management.”

Walmart said they are fully cooperating with food officials as they probe into the donkey “adulteration incident,” said a statement posted on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like equivalent.

This isn’t the first time that Chinese Walmarts have been in hot water over unscrupulous practices. The company was fined for selling expired duck meat in 2011.

It just goes to show, one can be as sly as a fox, but in the end, still a jackass.

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